Baylor University Surpasses $1.1 Billion Milestone in Give Light Campaign

  • Full-Size Image: $1.1 Billion Give Light Milestone
    Baylor University President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D., joins members of the Baylor Family in celebration of the Give Light campaign reaching the initial $1.1 billion fundraising goal at an event at the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. (Robert Rogers/Baylor University)
  • Full-Size Image: Give Light $1.1 Billion
Feb. 3, 2022

Milestone represents largest amount raised through fundraising campaign in University history

Media Contact: Lori Fogleman, Baylor University Media and Public Relations, 254-709-5959
Follow us on Twitter: @BaylorUMedia

WACO, Texas (Feb. 3, 2022) – Baylor University today announced a significant milestone as gifts and pledges to the Give Light Campaign have surpassed the initial goal of $1.1 billion, marking the campaign as the largest and most successful fundraising effort in the University’s 177-year history.

The Give Light Campaign was launched publicly on Nov. 1, 2018, as a comprehensive campaign to fund the academic aspirations and infrastructure needs to support Illuminate, the University’s strategic plan to become a preeminent Christian research university. On Dec. 16, 2021, Baylor announced it had been named a Research 1 university by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, one of only 37 private institutions to be named. The R1 classification as a doctoral university with very high research activity elevates Baylor among the nation’s top research universities and as the preeminent Christian research university, one of the expressed purposes of the Give Light campaign.

“Today, we mark the surpassing of the Give Light Campaign’s initial goal of raising $1.1 billion to support the mission and vision of Baylor University – a milestone that is only possible because of the generosity of our Baylor Family,” said Baylor President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D. “Approximately 80,000 alumni, parents, faculty, staff, students, friends, foundations and corporations have given to Baylor to foster academic discovery, to grow our programs and outreach and to stand beside our students through scholarships. It has been heartening to see the Baylor Family support Baylor’s growth to become a preeminent Christian research university, strengthening the voice of Christian higher education, and as we realize these significant steps forward, we are grateful anew for their commitment to our Christian mission. This is a milestone that we can all celebrate.”

The Give Light Campaign’s nearly 80,000 donors have given or pledged more than $1.1 billion, including:

  • Helping to grow Baylor’s endowment by $474 million;
  • Providing more than $408 million to fund and create programs and establish scholarships through expendable funds; and
  • Supporting the Give Light Capital Fund, which undergirds the campus’s capital priorities and has received $233 million toward its campaign goal of $300 million.

Fundraising for the priorities of Illuminate continues through the Give Light Campaign. Faculty endowment remains a priority through the Illuminate Chair Matching Program and scholarship support continues to be a priority with emphasis on merit and need scholarships through the Hord Scholarship Challenge and the Trailblazer Scholars Program. Baylor also continues to seek support for the Give Light Capital Fund to support capital projects like the Paul & Alejandra Foster Pavilion, the Mark & Paula Hurd Welcome Center and the Fudge Football Operations Center. To find out more about the Give Light campaign’s priorities, please visit the Give Light website.

“The Give Light Campaign has highlighted the incredible generosity of our Baylor Family,” said Baylor Vice President for Advancement David Rosselli. “It is humbling to work at an institution where the alumni, parents and friends believe so deeply in the Christian mission and bold vision of this institution for becoming an even stronger voice in Christian higher education. We have further to go, but we are encouraged and propelled forward by their generosity. Baylor truly has a bright future, and it is being shaped by the giving of our Baylor Family.”

In August 2019, Baylor University officially announced plans to pursue Research 1/Tier 1 (R1/T1) recognition by building on Illuminate, which launched in 2018 and accelerated the quest toward preeminence as a Christian research university. R1 universities meet benchmarks across 10 indicators, including research expenditures, research doctorates awarded and number of research staff in science and engineering fields. Baylor joins fellow Carnegie R1 institutions in Texas at UT-Austin, UT-Dallas, UT-Arlington, UT-El Paso, UT-San Antonio, Texas A&M University, Texas Tech University, University of Houston, University of North Texas and fellow private institution Rice University.

“Baylor achieving this elite status among institutions of higher education, especially Christian institutions, is a significant milestone in the growth of our academic enterprise that is possible thanks to the gifts of our Baylor community,” said Livingstone. “This achievement will help chart Baylor’s path forward, creating greater opportunities for faculty recruitment and retention and attracting the gifted, high-achieving students who have come to characterize our student body. This has been a significant collective effort, and we are truly grateful for the commitment of our faculty, staff and students and the overwhelming support of our Baylor Family through the Give Light Campaign.”

The Give Light campaign has crossed many key milestones, including a $100 million gift from Paul and Alejandra Foster to support endowed faculty chairs and capital priorities, the largest current gift in Baylor history. The University has taken significant strides forward in faculty endowment resourcing through the funding of 33 endowed faculty positions and provided transformational student support through the creation of more than 656 endowed scholarship funds. Fundraising efforts have touched the 12 schools and colleges that make up Baylor’s academic enterprise and provided significant support for the Division of Student Life and Baylor Athletics.

In its path to $1.1 billion, the University announced in May 2021 it had surpassed the $1 billion fundraising mark within the campaign, as giving to the University remained strong during the COVID-19 pandemic. Special initiatives to provide student emergency support, scholarships and programmatic funding underscored the Baylor Family’s commitment to meeting the needs of students as universities across the country struggled under the additional needs that arose in mid-March 2020 from a shift overnight to online learning and a return home for students mid-semester.

To date, Baylor Athletics, Baylor’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary, Baylor Libraries and the Baylor School of Music surpassed their initial goals established at the start of the Give Light Campaign. Leadership gifts from Paul and Alejandra Foster, Paula Hurd and Jeremy and Kristy Fudge, among others, enabled Athletics to surpass its $200 million goal. Support provided scholarships, faculty positions and program resources for Truett’s faculty, staff and students. Baylor Libraries increased their endowment support and received significant funds for materials and resources through the Baylor Family’s support of the Library Book Fund. The School of Music saw a groundswell of support for scholarships through current gifts, pledges and planned giving to push past its goal in December.

For more information about the Give Light Campaign, please visit the Give Light website.

ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked Research 1 institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 19,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

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